1-MCP Nature

1-MCP Mechanism of action

1-MCP has a mode of action in plants which is a non-persistent and non-toxic mode of action. 1-MCP prevents the natural chemical, ethylene, from binding to ethylene receptors in plants. This mode of action is not relevant in animals, since ethylene receptors are not present in animal tissues.

1-MCP Commercial use

There are two principal commercial uses of 1-MCP: maintaining the freshness of ornamental plants and flowers, and preventing the ripening of fruits. In each case, 1-MCP is combined with other materials for handling and then mixed with a specific amount of water or other solution to release it into the air. It is used in enclosed indoor sites, such as coolers, truck trailers, greenhouses, storage facilities, and shipping containers.

1-MCP is used with cut flowers, potted flowers, and bedding, nursery and foliage plants to prevent premature wilting, leaf yellowing, premature opening, and premature death.
1-MCP is used in the agriculture industry by growers, packers, and shippers to maintain the quality of fruits and vegetables by preventing or delaying the natural ripening process. The use of 1-MCP in agricultural products including apples, kiwifruit, tomatoes, bananas, plums, persimmons, avocados and melons has been approved and accepted for use in more than 34 countries including the European Union and the United States.

Effect of 1-MCP on ethylene

Ethylene exists as a gas and it acts at trace levels throughout the life of a plant by stimulating or regulating various processes such as the ripening of climacteric fruit, the opening of flowers, and the shedding of leaves. The mechanism of action of 1-MCP involves its tightly binding to the ethylene receptor in plants, thereby blocking the effects of ethylene (competitive inhibitor).